Multiparty opposition alliance’s president says it is considering all options to oust incumbent PTI government
Senior leaders of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), a multiparty opposition alliance, will meet on Jan. 25 to consider various options to oust the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, including tabling of a no-confidence motion in Parliament and a long march on the federal capital.
Addressing a press conference after a meeting with Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly—and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) president—Shahbaz Sharif, PDM President Maulana Fazlur Rehman said all options were being considered to “send this government packing.” He said that the opposition had decided to seek the support of the PTI’s coalition partners, adding that ending the current setup was “in the larger interest of the country.”
Fazl, who also heads his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), said the PTI’s coalition partners must realize that their decision to form an alliance had not benefited Pakistan.
“I have talked to [Maulana Fazlur Rehman] about it and it has been decided that this [tabling a no-confidence motion] will be a part of the agenda of the upcoming PDM meeting,” Sharif confirmed to media. “The decision in this regard will be made after a thorough consultation,” he said, adding that the time had come to use “all constitutional, legal and political weapons” to oust the incumbent rulers. He also congratulated the JUIF for defeating the PTI in the first phase of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa local government elections.
While the Pakistan Peoples Party has repeatedly advocated a no-confidence motion to remove Prime Minister Imran Khan, both the PMLN and JUIF had resisted the move, claiming it was unlikely to succeed so long as the opposition couldn’t prove it had sufficient numbers.
Fazl told media that the Jan. 25 meeting of the PDM would also finalize arrangements for its long march against inflation, scheduled for March 23, and urged the “entire nation” to participate in the anti-government march.
To a question, the JUIF chief said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should not become “controversial” and rejected a recent decision for it to seek the military’s support during the second phase of local government polls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He claimed that the JUIF would not have been able to defeat the PTI in the first phase of the polls if the “institutions” had interfered in the electoral process. He stressed that all such institutions should confine themselves to their constitutional limits.